A few hours before a massive storm hit Sydney, I was a giddy participant at a tasting organised by Mr Moustache at Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Luckily, I was snug inside at home and having a food-coma-like siesta by the time the eye of the storm thundered into town.
So… I have quite a medley of feast items to share with you, but first let’s set the scene.
I used to live in Bondi a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised to see a mini-Mecca of great restaurants and stores in the new Hall Street complex. The area always had great potential to become an even more substantial culinary strip and I was glad to see that it had all taken shape.
The table was set with a colourful spread of starters and the lovely “Mrs Moustache” joined us as the spirited host for the lunch tasting. She is a proud Mexican who speaks passionately about how the dishes were created, and the significance and spirituality that goes into the food and drink from her homeland.
The vibrant colours didn’t detract from the sophistication of the venue and yet the vibe was fun and casual. An open kitchen, well stocked marble-topped bar with ample seating, along with in and outdoor table seating worked well to visually divide up the open plan space.
The branding for the restaurant really stood out and the effort and attention that has gone into getting their unique look just right was most definitely noticed. They used a sketch artist to create the designs and I think it all comes together amazingly well.
There were just enough splashes of colour and traditional Mexican items without letting the theme engulf the space. I was particularly taken with the enamel serving plates, platters and bowls which Mrs Moustache told me were gathered from local markets in Mexico. We urged her to consider importing more to sell… so you’ll have to watch this space to see what becomes of our plea.
Interesting new tastes (to Sydney) are what the drinks here are all about. I loved the way they looked, tasted… and I will most definitely be back to enjoy them in larger quantities when I am not the designated driver (food tasting event rookie error).
This place is also a specialist importer for mezcal, a favourite agave-based spirit in Mexico. There are many varieties behind the bar to choose from and their cocktail list also reflects the essence of mezcal in intriguing concoctions.
For this occasion however, I fell for the innocent yet subtly alluring Mexican house soda.
The menu is all about classic Mexican street food but with a creative twist. Fresh seafood, slow cooked meats and other such familiar indulgences are coupled with the punch of Mexican flavours. Our medley for this lunch included:
Vasco de verduritas (con Chamoy)
Esquites – little corn shots
Tlatanos machos – banana sautéed with caramel
Guava creme brulee
You can download the full menu here but first, I request you drool through this gallery.
My absolute favourite from this all-round scrumptious, fresh feast were:
Savoury: tuna ceviche and lamb tostadita. Bite sized but packed with flavour.
Sweet: platanos machos – banana sauteed with caramel. Cooked to a great texture and not sickeningly sweet.
So if you want some authentic Mexican, spirited service and you’re looking to do it under the haze of a mezcal-fueled buzz, then head over there and have some fun.